What Is Keto?
The keto diet food, is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet that allows the body to fuel itself without the use of glucose or high levels of carbohydrates. When the body is in short supply of glucose, ketones are made in the liver from the breakdown of fats through a process called ketosis. (Please note this differs from ketoacidosis.) With careful tracking, creative meals, and self-control, this diet can lead to weight loss, lower blood sugar, regulated insulin levels, and controlled cravings.
When you eat a very high-carb diet (pizza, pasta, pastries), your body takes those carbs and turns them into glucose to power itself. When you cut out the carbs, your metabolism burns fat instead. Typically, a ketogenic diet restricts carbs to 0–50 grams per day.
What Are Macros?
Macronutrients, or macros, are the three ways your body produces energy. They include carbohydrates, protein, and fat. When you’re following keto, it is very important to track how many grams of each macronutrient you consume each day.
• Carbs should be around 5 percent of your daily calories
• Protein should be around 25 percentof your daily calories
• Healthy fats should be around 70 percent of your daily calories
Some of the best-quality fats come from natural sources such as fish, avocados, and nuts. These fats can help reduce your cholesterol, keep your heart strong, and fuel your body throughout the day. You should always beware of unhealthy fats, however, that can come from foods like cookies and French fries. Overconsumption of these, especially in
conjunction with a high-carb diet, can contribute to heart disease, low energy, and unwanted weight gain.
Most people following keto opt to track net carbs instead of total carbs. You can figure out net carbs by subtracting your dietary fiber intake from your total carb intake: Total carbs minus dietary fiber equals net carbs
You may also subtract sugar alcohols from the total carb count. Net is generally the preferred method because of how your body reacts to the fiber and sugar alcohols. On nutrition labels, the grams of dietary fiber and sugar alcohols are already included in the total carb count, but because fiber and (some) sugar alcohols are carbs that your body can’t digest, they have no effect on your blood sugar levels and can be subtracted.
Tips to Remember
Keep these tips in mind as you plan your daily meals:
Carbs are a limit: Don’t go above your allotted daily net carbs.
Protein is a goal: This is the most important macro to hit. If you’re losing weight, you want to make sure you’re eating enough protein to keep you from also losing muscle.
Fat is a lever—(you use it to adjust your diet): In this diet, fat is designed to keep you full. If you’re hungry, go ahead and eat that healthy fat up to your limit. If you’re not hungry, you don’t have to hit your fat macros.
With the quick and easy recipes in this book, you should never feel deprived on your keto journey. Just remember, if you fall off the wagon, the most important thing is to get back on as quickly as possible. Allow yourself grace and time, but never give up just because you slipped up.